The Oldest Daughter Flies to Dublin

The Oldest Daughter Flies to Dublin

by Ellen Stone

Ellen Stone_The Oldest Daughter

Over northern Canada, she may feel most alone,

although it is the longest day of the year


and the sun (diffuse or beacon-like, depending)

will follow her over those low-slung mountains


that go on and on reminding her how big the world

is―boreal forest of larch, spruce, birch spreading


into bogs, fens, black marshy sponge reflecting sky―

pinprick of silver plane, no more than a sliver, really


like the germ of an idea.  She will look out the plane

window & think of who lives down there, what girl,


like her, is not sure, but goes on through her days

anyway―maybe surrounded by trees like woodland


caribou, shy & sturdy―who everyone will likely

one day depend upon.  But for now, the other self,


the one her body houses now, full of this nebulous

wonder. I hope she feels like cloud then, weightless,


unformed, with what she sees below―that spread

of nubby canopy―at once, both factual & dreamlike.


While she, full at the same time, of doubt & precision,

a shaft of thin sharp air, knifes her way through.

Ellen Stone was raised in northeastern Pennsylvania. Her poems have appeared in Passages North, The Collagist, The Museum of Americana, and Fifth Wednesday. She’s the author of The Solid Living World (Michigan Writers’ Cooperative Press, 2013). Ellen’s poems have been nominated for a Pushcart prize and Best of the Net.